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invasive pests

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Gift Highlights Relationship Between Ireland and the United States and the Importance of Plant Health

The spirit of The International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) was in full force this St. Patrick’s Day when President Joe Biden was presented with a shamrock bowl by the Irish Taoiseach (Irish for “chief or leader” – pronounced “tee-shuhk”), Micheál Martin, on March 17, 2021 at the White House. The shamrock bowl was delivered to the White House earlier in the week and presented to President Biden virtually. The tradition of this annual gift from the people of Ireland started in the early 1950s when Ireland’s first Ambassador, John J. Hearne, sent a small box of shamrocks to President Harry Truman.

USDA’s Cutting-Edge Methods Help Deliver a Victory Against Asian Giant Hornet

After weeks of searching, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists–—using a radio tag provided by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and a trap developed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service–— have located and eradicated the first Asian giant hornet (AGH) nest ever found in the United States. For months, WSDA had been trying to find the nest they knew must exist near Blaine, WA, because of AGH detections in the area. But finding the nest proved extremely challenging since the hornets build nests in forested areas, typically in an underground cavity.

An Important Action to Take: Check Your Trees!

Did you know that USDA has declared August as Tree Check Month? That’s because August is the peak time of year to spot the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB)—an invasive wood-boring beetle that attacks 12 types of hardwood trees in North America, such as maples, elms, horse chestnuts, birches and willows. Checking trees for the beetle and the damage it causes is one way residents can protect their own trees and help USDA’s efforts to eliminate this pest from the United States.

Stop Invasive Pests in Their Tracks with Tips from APHIS and PlayCleanGo this Summer

Summer is here, and it’s time to head outdoors! June is National Camping Month, and it also features National Trails Day, National Recreational Vehicle Day, World Ocean Day, and National Get Outdoors Day. But before you hit the trails or the waterways this summer, take a few precautions to avoid giving invasive pests a free ride to new territories. We have some ideas on how you can help!

Celebrating Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month with Your Children: Activities, Curriculums and Video Links

Looking for nature- or science-based activities or projects for your kids to do at home? You and your school-aged children can join in the important worldwide effort to protect plants from invasive species. Invasive pests can destroy up to 40 percent of crops annually, having a direct impact on the cost and availability of the food you eat every day.

Calling All Outdoor Enthusiasts! Help Protect Your Favorite Forests and Parks from Invasive Species

Summer is nature’s way of telling us to get outside and have some fun! With warmer temperatures and sweet breezes sweeping across the nation, many of us will try to spend more time outside than inside during the coming weeks and months. Since I started working at USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, I’ve learned that some of my favorite recreation sites are threatened by invasive species. I’ve learned how to leave Hungry Pests behind while hitting the trails.

State-of-the-Art USDA Facilities Keep Invasive Pests Out of the Country

Safeguarding our Nation’s agriculture and natural resources against harmful plant pests is an awesome responsibility, one my agency—USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service—takes very seriously. Thanks to our employees, cooperators, and partners, the United States has one of the most robust plant health safeguarding systems in the world. That is because we continuously take steps to enhance our ability to exclude, control, and eradicate pests and increase the safety of agricultural trade.

Before These Caterpillars Become Moths, They Unite to Destroy Forests

A caterpillar that’s been rarely observed in the wild is about to join with another species of inch worms to wreak destruction upon two national forests in New Mexico. The culprit, called Janet’s looper caterpillar, feeds on the needles of high-elevation fir and spruce trees, but this insect has rarely been observed for nearly 50 years.